Priscilla Rosenwald and Lesley Mallow Wendell were recently interviewed by Tree Risesener, author of fiction and poetry at http://treeriesener.blogspot.com. The interview appears below and on Tree’s blog. We thank Tree for her interview and for Miki Young, author of “How to Hear God in 7 Days,” for bringing us into this process.
- What is the working title of your book? When Leaders Leave.
- Where did the idea come from for your book? We are co-authors (Priscilla Rosenwald and Lesley Mallow Wendell) who have been working together for a number of years under TransitionWorks, helping nonprofit organizations successfully manage leadership changes at the executive level. We have seen the significant impact on organizations when leaders leave, and most particularly, when leaders and boards do not plan effectively for the transition. We have learned what works and what doesn’t. We wrote the book to provide usable, practical information for nonprofit leaders and their boards to enable them to manage transitions more smoothly. It is absolutely possible for the leader, boards and the organization itself to benefit from the change process. Leadership transition can be a positive stepping stone to growth and sustainability.
- What genre does your book fall under? This is a non-fiction guidebook.
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? As a “how-to” book with essential tools to plan for the inevitable transition, “When Leaders Leave” offers advice about how to smooth out the path to board chairs who are thinking about succession planning, foundations that are asking organizations to look at the longer horizon and chief executives who know that five years down the road there will be other challenges calling.
- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? The book will be published by MarketShift.
- How long did it take to write the first draft of your manuscript? It took us a year to determine the focus and about 6 months to write the book.
- Who or what inspired you to write this book? We have been inspired by the many lost opportunities and organizational challenges we have seen. We wanted to create a how-to book for leaders and boards that would help them navigate this process effectively, with minimal collateral damage.
- What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? There are many cautionary tales to serve as organizational “wake-up” calls. What is unique about this book is the integration of the issues of change, legacy and transition with the tools to avoid disaster and achieve success. The tools will enable some straight talk among boards and leaders, conversations that are frequently avoided prior to crisis and catastrophe.
When Leaders Leave was created by Priscilla Rosenwald and Lesley Mallow Wendell as a forum for addressing nonprofit leadership transition issues. Their book, “When Leaders Leave,” is out now.